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Purdue brings previous Pete back out of retirement

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue Athletics has announced it is retiring the new Purdue Pete and will bring back the familiar Purdue Pete in response to requests by students, alumni and fans.

Old Purdue Pete

Previous Pete is back... in black. (Sorry, couldn't resist)

“The fans have spoken, and we are listening. They like the Purdue Pete they’ve known for the last 30 years, and that’s the one we’re going with,” athletics director Morgan Burke said.

Pete, who has undergone several changes over the years, last changed looks in 1989. He was due for an upgrade, partly because the professor who had supervised the class that fabricated Pete’s head is no longer at Purdue and, since 2007, the task is no longer part of the class curriculum.

Anticipating they may be forced to update the mascot if the custom-made heads were not available, Burke and others began working on an updated version that would take advantage of new materials and costuming technology and also allow more students to perform as the character. They began with two-dimensional drawings that evolved into the prototype Pete introduced on Saturday (April 9).

“Fan passion trumps prototype. That level of passion is synonymous with athletic success, and we’re all for that,” Burke said. “Fans can see the unretired Purdue Pete in Ross-Ade Stadium Sept. 3.”

Once the university decided to retain the previous Pete, associate athletic director Barbara Kapp spoke with faculty in the Department of Aviation Technology who agreed this week to create two new heads using instructions left by the professor. The cost will be around $2,700 each for materials and student labor. Athletics also will begin a search to identify a manufacturer for the heads.

RIP Prototype Pete

This is video that PurdueSports put up on YouTube to debut the prototype costume. To see the less than positive comments left by disappointed Boilermakers, you can read them directly on the YouTube page.

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